Re: Open Source Hardware...

Tyrell Berry <kd7kuj@...>

A few years back, there was an organization that developed two open source phone called the Openmoko Neo and Freerunner.  The devices were nearly entirely open source...  Everything but the GSM Radio, which they claimed couldn't be avoided due to FCC type approval, which is probably true.  But the device in it's entirety, down to engineering drawings of the boards and cad drawings of the case were available for download from

Of course, sacrifices were made...  to get around NDAs they had to use fairly archaic chips, even for the time...  As such, the device sold very poorly, and I wouldn't advise following in those footsteps, but to say it doesn't exist is a bit rash.

On May 23, 2012 12:31 PM, <UniversalDigitalRadio-owner@...> wrote:

... doesn't exist.

This forum has been wonderfully active on a variety of topics. It's great to see the exchange as hams weigh in with their hopes and dreams, but there is one topic that I need to address; the notion of open source hardware.

I worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years, both with and for, a variety of semiconductor companies. I have personally negotiated with both ARM and MIPs and let me tell you, there is no open source hardware.

Today's designs use high integration ICs which are designed in HDLs. They often include licensed IP from other sources under highly restrictive agreements. They are the companies most valuable assets and they are not released to anyone in any form.

In order for us to use these devices we may enter into Non Disclosure Agreements which state that we will not release any design information to third parties, that means you. In particular if there are errata we cannot share either the problem or the fix.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that any vendors chips that I use now, or have ever used, actually have now or ever have had any errata (hi hi).

What we will provide is schematics and assembly diagrams of released product under copyright. In particular, we will document all connector interfaces both external and internal, to aid in experimentation.

We will not be posting manufacturing data, such as gerber files, detailed BOMs and mechanical drawings, but if you have an amateur radio project that requires more information; send us an email briefly describing what you'r trying to do and we'll do our best to help you.

73 - Bryan Hoyer

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